The driving force behind the Peabody Conservatory’s innovative Breakthrough Curriculum is the need to provide today’s young artists with the training and skills required to be successful in their careers — skills that extend beyond simply being an excellent musician or dancer. Through specialized coursework and a new, more varied ensemble program, students are gaining musical flexibility and confidence in programming, community engagement, public speaking, and other critical career skills.
Now, Peabody’s career services office is evolving to better complement the curriculum — with a new name, new focus, and new leadership in interim director Zane Forshee (MM ’01, GPD ’03, DMA ’11, Guitar).
LAUNCHPad will provide a comprehensive suite of support, strategies, and tools for students and recent graduates to forge real-world careers in performance, teaching, citizen artistry, and arts leadership. Working in close collaboration with Conservatory studio faculty, LAUNCHPad will empower students to define what success means for them from the start of their time at Peabody — by beginning to build relationships and portfolios long before graduation.
“There’s so much more to launching your career than sending out résumés and taking auditions,” notes Forshee, an alumnus, performing artist, and member of the guitar faculty who also teaches ACTIVATE: Strategic Career Preparation. “We want students to think about what’s possible, to envision their ideal future, and begin to forge the path to create that future. And we stand ready to serve as partners and coaches, helping young artists to set and achieve their career goals.”
LAUNCHPad’s new model of career coaching will put the emphasis on holistic student growth and development, while still helping identify opportunities for internships, residencies, fellowships, paid performances, and grant funding.
The office — staff members include Christina Manceor (MM ’17, Percussion) and Robin McGinness (MM ’17, Voice) — will continue to provide career development work- shops and presentations, including visits by professionals in the field. One piece of LAUNCHPad’s work this fall is leading the introduction at Peabody of Handshake, a new online career services platform rolling out across all Johns Hopkins divisions this year.
To learn more about LAUNCHPad, whose offices are across from Goodwin Recital Hall, visit: peabody.jhu.edu/Launchpad.
— Tiffany Lundquist